Pozo Azul, Weltrekord Höhlentauchgang / world record cave dive

 Ein von Briten geführtes Tauchteam hat in Pozo Azul, einer Höhle in Spanien einen neuen Weltrekord aufgestellt.

Jason Mallinson, Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, alles Briten und der Holländer Rene Houben unternahmen, unterstützt von Tauchern aus Spanien, Holland und Großbritanien diesen beachtenswerten Vorstoß.

Pozo Azul ist ein Sump, d.h. man findet hier mehrere luftgefüllte Kammern, in denen man auftauchen kann. Die vier erreichten mit ihren Scootern nach 5,5h die zweite Kammer namens Tipperary (benannt nach dem bekannten WW I Lied: It´s a long way to Tipperary), 5160m entfernt vom Eingang.

Hier schlugen sie ihr Lager auf, wobei Sauerstoff und Kohlendioxid-Gehalt der Luft ständig überprüft wurden. Am nächsten Tag begannen sie weitere Erkundungstauchgänge durchzuführen, wobei der längste, welcher wiederum über fünf Stunden dauerte, weitere 2800m in die schier unendliche Höhle führte. Dadurch erhöhte sich die Gesamt-Eindringtiefe bei diesem Unternehmen auf 8825m.

Nach einer weiteren Nacht im Basiscamp kehrten sie nach mehr als 50 Stunden wieder an die Oberfläche zurück.

British-led dive team break record with 8.8km cave dive                    

 A British-led team of divers have surfaced after diving a world record-breaking 8.8km (5.5 miles) into the unexplored Pozo Azul cave system in Spain.

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Drag: Rene Houben is pulled through the midnight murk of sump two, a 5km (three-mile) underwater tunnel, on a ‘scooter’ propulsion unit to conserve energy (Pictures: Martyn Farr/Barcroft)

Explorers Jason Mallinson, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, along with Dutch caver Rene Houben, charted new territory in a 50-hour voyage which saw them spend two nights camped deep underground.

‘It’s an incredible buzz to explore further than anyone has been ever before,’ said Mr Mallinson, from Huddersfield. ‘There was no wildlife down there, just a tunnel of crystal blue clear water stretching on and on.’

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Checks: Mr Houben prepares his scooter for another ride into the deep

The team could only go as far as their safety line would allow before they had to turn back.

Mr Mallinson, 43, added: ‘The adrenaline builds when you realise you are looking at something nobody has ever seen before. It’s that which drives you forward.

‘You don’t get scared. But you are permanently conscious of your equipment. If the slightest thing goes wrong then you are in a position where you might never be coming back.’

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Triumphant: Rick Stanton, Rene Houben, John Volanthen and Jason Mallinson emerge into the sunlight as record-holders on Monday

The team began their two-and-a-half day foray into the Pozo Azul caves in Covenera, northern Spain, on Saturday. They used ‘scooters’ to pull them through three sumps – or underwater passages.

After sump two they emerged in a small dry cave area nicknamed Tipperary. It was there they spent two nights resting and replenishing their underwater breathing mixtures.

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Base camp: Jason Mallinson (front) and the group prepare their gear

Measuring equipment told them exactly how much time they had bef­ore they used up the oxy­gen in the chamber.

They beat the 7.8km (4.8-mile) world record for the longest cave dive penetration, set last year at Wakulla Springs in Florida.

Support diver Martyn Farr, 59, said: ‘This explor­ation is akin to the first conquest of Mount Everest in 1953.’

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Jaws: Support diver Rob Dalby from Huddersfield carries equipment down through the cave opening

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17. September 2010 Höhlen (caves)

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